Since the beginning of the Internet, banner ad click-through rates have been declining, not increasing. According to stats, the click-through rates were as high as 78% back in 1994, but have steadily dropped to less than 1% today.
With advances in ad-blocking programs and software further making if difficult for banner ads to even be seen, it’s probably not a surprise to you if I told you that banner ads aren’t exactly people’s first choice to help them drive more traffic to their website.
And yet, when optimized properly, they still provide outstanding marketing benefits.
Benefits like, well, the fact that banner impressions are still one of the best ways to market to a wide audience, as well as ultra targeted markets.
And banner advertising is good for establishing your brand or providing information about a new product or service.
Also, results can be tracked when using banner ads.
This allows you to make adjustments to your advertising campaign in real-time and correct mistakes before they get too costly.
I know, however, that I said at the beginning of this post that banner ads today have a very low click-through rate, and this sounds contradictory.
So here are 8 ways to improve your banner ad click-through rates without resorting to spam:
1. Use text
One would assume that text would stand out less than bright colors and awesome graphics. But most banners are like that.
Recent analysis recently revealed that text-heavy image banners are likely to outperform banners that only utilize images and flashing colors.
Also, they found out that most banners that emphasize graphics over text rarely explain anything about the product or services they represent.
Use clean fonts, simple colors and well-written copy to ensure your message is received and your advertisement is branded properly.
2. Human Images
The addition of a person has shown to increase conversions.
It’s especially high with the inclusion of a female.
I’m totally digressing here but I just wanted to say that my team of designers who happen to be all guys have a great time looking through pictures of women every time we set up a new banner ad campaign. Who says work has to be boring? Lol.
3. Attract people with free stuff
Whether it’s coupons or product samples, every business can surely find free stuff to give away. If it’s enticing enough, offers of free stuff can actually attract people to click on your banner ad.
For us marketers who focus on digital products, offer free videos, reports, e-books etc.
If you’re an affiliate, the top vendors will usually provide a free guide to obtain the contact details of people who are interested but not ready to buy yet.
You can use that as the “free stuff” in your banner.
Of course, you have to be careful what you offer.
Offering free kitty litter, for instance, isn’t going to attract many people to click-through, nor will it help to offer free services like consultations. And when using this approach, stay away from flashy banners or gimmicks.
Try to keep the ad looking professional, or people are more likely to think it’s too good to be true.
4. Add a button
Yes, even though people can actually click anywhere on the banner to be directed elsewhere, having an actual button displayed on the banner actually attracts more clicks.
I don’t know the exact science behind this.
I guess people generally like pushing people’s buttons.
So add a button.
5. Point an arrow to the button
The title pretty much sums it up.
Arrows pointing to the button increase click-through rates.
6. Be specific when targeting
You probably already designed your ad to appeal to the target customer. Just remember that where you place your ad can be more important than the ad itself.
Choose a site that receives consistent traffic, and that is related to your ad’s topic.
This can raise the ad’s conversion rates and improve your click-through rates enormously.
Another method is to advertise on blogs that are targeted to your niche.
Remember to do your research. Look for popular blogs that fit the exact match of your keywords. Contact the blog owner directly and let them know you’re interested in advertising on their blog.
7. Try not to offer discounts
Surprisingly, although offering free stuff works, research shows that discounts don’t necessarily help you improve your click-through rate.
Sometimes they work, but mostly they have no effect on whether someone is more likely to click-through the ad or not.
Never post product prices either, because those can kill click-throughs.
8. Update your static designs
It’s true that simple static designs often lack the ability to grab attention the way more animated designs do.
This doesn’t mean that you should put in bright, flashing effects or annoying audio.
You just need to improve on your static design by adding simple elements such as lots of color, a shine effect, or sliding text, or even interactive buttons.
This can grab the viewer’s attention and improve your chances of a click-through.